Every day here in the nursery we are asked about proper mulching techniques. Whether you are using wood or rubber mulch here are some things to keep in mind this spring. By the way if you would to see what we do in the nursery check out our facebook page for some pretty plants.
Thick layers of wood mulch once rotten and matted will actually shed water away from your plants. The negatives of “volcano mulching” around trees have been widely discussed but even a thick mat of rotten wood can harbor fungus and not be permeable for water to transfer.
Some varieties of trees do not like moisture held against the bark, this will cause the bark to fall off and expose the cambium layer. This will expose the living cambium layer and promote fungus and insects eventually killing the tree.
You can install rubber mulch over wood mulch within reason. If the wood mulch is nearly gone use what is left to level the landscape bed as this will help you put the rubber mulch down evenly and help you achieve the coverage rate listed on the bag. Here at Everlast we state that you will get 7 to 7.5 square feet of coverage per bag with our landscape rubber mulch and that is a real world coverage. Be aware that there are other brands that have stretched the coverage rate to “near perfect” installation practices and you will in reality need more than the calculator tells you.
Rubber mulch installed over wood mulch will work fine as long at the finished level of the mulch is not spilling out into your yard or sidewalk. We recommend that the finished level of any mulch is one to two inches lower than the border. This helps to keep mulch from migrating out of the bed via foot traffic, pet traffic, and weed eaters.